UPDATE: Minnesota Senate GOP passes ‘lights on’ bill

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) —  The Minnesota Senate has approved a Republican plan for preventing a state government shutdown if the Legislature’s budget stalemate persists.

Senators voted 35-31 along party lines Saturday to send it to the House, challenging Democrats to either agree or take the blame if there is a shutdown when the current budget expires June 30.

The bill would keep government funded at current projected levels. It’s close to the Senate GOP’s original budget proposal, which included none of the tax increases sought by Gov. Tim Walz and House Democrats to spend more on education, health care, transportation and other programs.

Monday night’s adjournment deadline is looming with no budget deal in sight, making a special session increasingly likely, though efforts by Senate Republican and House Democratic leaders and the governor continue.

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The Minnesota Legislature has reconvened with no budget deal in sight. Monday night’s adjournment deadline is coming up fast and talk is growing of the need for a special session.

More closed-door talks are expected Saturday among Democratic Gov. Tim Walz and leaders of the Senate Republican and House Democratic majorities.

The conference committees negotiating the final budget bills are still waiting for the marching orders they need to finish drafting their legislation, and it will become increasingly harder as time goes on to complete those bills and vote on them without a special session.

The Senate was poised to vote Saturday on a “lights on” bill to keep state government running at current funding levels if there’s no deal by the time the current budget runs out June 30.

Jessie Slater

Jessie Slater

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